Selected 2013

Kaan Aykaç

  • Current company Gezlong
  • Location Turkey
  • Industry Media

Gezlong’s hotel bookings platform – the first of its kind for Turkish travelers – has disrupted the largely untapped online travel and hotel accommodation market in Turkey. As the percentage of hotel bookings made online catches up to the soaring internet penetration rates in Turkey, Gezlong aims to take a major share of the market. Kaan has instrumentalized Turkey’s growing internet market to develop a loyal customer base and strong brand.

Kaan’s know-how of the needs of Turkish travellers has enabled him to build a highly localized service. Gezlong was the first travel company to offer travelers flash deals in addition to to a full retail price collection of luxury hotels – many of which lack an online booking presence. Its website and customer service are in Turkish and customers have the option to make pay in installments. This customer-centric approach has paid off, with 50% of customers coming to Gezlong through friends or social media. Since launch, the average duration of each visit to the website has increased by 70% and the number of page visits by 30%. This all contributed to a three-fold increase in Gezlong’s membership between its first and second year.

Kaan has focused on expanding his company’s online marketing to grow its customer base and retention rate. Gezlong aims to become even more convenient for travelers by growing its hotel portfolio and implementing real-time inventory connection with its hotels. As Gezlong scales, it will rely on Kaan’s existing relationships and knowledge of the Turkish market to compete with hotel-booking giants, like Travelocity and Expedia.

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